President’s Day here in the US brings with it lots of anecdotes about the bygone days when the United States was not yet an imperial power and only had intermittent and sometimes eccentric interactions with the rest of the world. You’re more likely today to read about Thomas Jefferson’s war with the Barbary States or about the time Abraham Lincoln turned down the King of Siam’s offer of war elephants (!) than you are on any other day of the year. This seems perfectly reasonable to me, which is why I’m getting in on the action. Today, let’s talk about the 1904 Perdicaris Affair, a relatively minor but interesting little dust-up involving a (former) American citizen named Ion Perdicaris, then-US President Teddy Roosevelt, and a Moroccan outlaw and would-be governor named Mulay Ahmad al-Raysuni, or “Raisuli” as he was more famously known in the American media at the time.